Ayon HA-3

General Information

Tube Headphone ampAyon HA-3 II
Class of OperationPure Class A, SE-Triode
Tube Complement2 x AA45 Mesh, 2 x 12AU7
S/N Ratio> 100dB (unweighted)
Input Impedance50 kΩ
Frequency Response at 32Ω15 Hz – 35kHz
Harmonic Distortion (at 150mV )< 0.01%
Channel Separation L/R> 89dB
Output Power at 32Ω500mV
Output Impedance – Headphone16Ω – 600Ω
Line InputRCA phono sockets
Headphone output¼” Stereo Jack (6.35mm)
Power Consumption~ 65W
Dimensions Main Unit (WxDxH) cm22x30x20 cm
Dimension Power Supply (WxDxH) cm22x30x10 cm
Weight (Main)10kg
Weight (Power Supply)11kg

https://www.ayonaudio.com/product/ayon-ha-3-ii-tube-headphone-amp/

Ayon3.jpg
Ayon2.jpg
Ayon1.jpg

Latest reviews

bpiotrow13

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Stunning sound that is very smooth and real
Cons: Needs space as a power supply is separate unit
Here is my short review of Ayon Ha 3 (or rather Ayon Ha 3 and Meze Empyrean combo). I am not experienced in reviewing gear but thought it may be useful for somebody, as many people are looking for a good tube amp, especially for Meze Empyrean.

Initial remarks:

When I bought Meze Empyrean I started looking for good tube amp to play with Meze. Due to Empy’s low impedance I was looking rather for non – OTL amp, although I am aware many people prise Meze with Feliks Euforia. I got a nice opportunity to buy second hand Ayon Ha 3 and decided to buy it.

I listen mainly to jazz, classic and rock. I have clear preferences as to the sound and these are not neutrality but musicality. I am not looking for a gear which would show all technicalities perfectly, but rather that would allow me to follow music as a whole, to be part of it. This is why I tend to like more warmer amps and headphones, rather than neutral. However, I also believe good musicality should be accompanied with good detail retrieval and a good soundstage.

I am not really a fan of experimenting with different gear if I do not need to. This is why when I put together a setup that I liked I was not experimenting further. The setup I describe here is:

Meze Empyrean – Forza Noir Hybrid – Ayon HA3 – Cardas Parsec – MHDT Orchid. I used Mullard 12au7 as driving tubes in Ayon and stock 45 type as power tubes. In MHDT I used Mullard E188CC (a bit warmer) and Siemens CCa (a bit more neutral).

The below opinion is obviously very subjective (I mentioned my musical preferences above). Maybe it is also overly positive, but I really like this combo.

Built

I have 1st version of Ayon (there are two) with sound volume indicator, which is quite helpful.

There are two separate units: amplifier and power supply. They are very heavy - built from very solid metal cut in precise way. It gives an impression of a very premium product, which it is.

I was told by Ayon not to put an amp directly on power supply unit (as it is frequently presented on photos) because of potential sound interference. I put it accordingly and never experienced any interferences or noises (hum), which is a frequent case with tube amplifiers. It is dead silent. Power supply gets warm, but not to the point it is uncomfortable.

The 45 type tubes are really big and impressive. They are mesh type, but (unfortunately) do not shine very bright, you only see they are shining while it is completely dark. It obviously has nothing to do with sound. It is hard also to tube roll power tubes due to limited availability of other 45 type tubes, but the stock ones are of such quality that this is not a problem. It is even an advantage not to be bothered with choosing tubes. Stock driver tubes I got are a mystery with no marks. They sound quite good, but I changed to Mullards, which are outstanding.

Bass

From my experience Meze Empyreans can sound a bit muddy with wrong amplifier, so bass is a key. With Ayon Ha 3 bass goes deep and is well defined. It is resilient while keeping this famous planar weight I like. It also goes deeper than Empy’s with my other amp - Burson cv2. Maybe not as deep as Audeze lcd 3 f but not far away.

Midrange

Nothing to write much about. Meze are king of midrange and with Ayon HA 3 they are like emperor. Midrange is sweet (but not too much) and close without being claustrophobic. Human voices are like real.

Treble

I like a bit rolled off treble. This is probably because I like music with aggressive trumpets. I take Meze as not rolled off with this respect, however at the same time they are not harsh at all. To achieve the result I wanted I use MHDT Orchid, which is a NOS DAC and I also use Mullard tubes in both MHDT and Ayon. Also my cables (Cardas Parsec) play a role here. The result is that hights are quite extended but a bit „gold plated” and smooth. I would not call this sound dark, but certainly hights are a bit softened. In any case, soft hights are I guess one of the reasons tube amps are so popular. I guess Ayon Ha3 and Meze could have more extended treble if matched with other DAC, as Ayon is not typical warmish sounding tube amp. Hights are really full size.

Soundstage

The key I was looking here was tube holography and this is exactly what I got. Music is not flat but 3 - dimentional. This is something I think only tubes can deliver. I would say soundstage is deeper than wider, but it is still wide enough.

Timbre

This is pure magic. The sound is so real, musical and smooth. It is no doubt a bit warm. It is surprisingly less warm than I usually prefer. I would even not call it warm personally, it is rather thick and smooth, as it is very vivid and full of details. It is not perfectly neutral, as it is a bit coloured but not too much. Percussion instruments are very dynamic but not fatiguing at all. Instruments are very real and the texture of sound is rich. I described it somewhere that you do hear that the string is actually vibrating and a drumstick hit a drum. It is almost physical experience. I have never heard such real sound in headphones before.

I do not feel lack of dynamics even with rock and metal music. Ayon, when needed, can be quite fast, able to make Empyrean’s surprisingly good with this respect. It is far away from what people typically consider as tubish sound (i.e. muddy and slow with rolled off treble).

Summary/Overall

I think the overall description of Ayon Ha 3/Meze Empyrean combo is a key. This is because particular elements of the sound of this combo are good or very good, but when put together these really fit together in an outstanding way. If I am to describe it in one word that would be „real”. This is very analog and smooth sound without any harshness. At the same time it gives really a view into details and separation is very good. It is also quite universal, most music will sound at least very good with this unique touch of tubes.
Last edited:
InvisibleInk
InvisibleInk

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